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American Detective Fiction    Prior to July 1891

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  Published in
The New York Ledger, March 1, 1862.

This story was reprinted anonymously in The Berkshire County [MA] Eagle, November 27, 1862.

 
The Mysterious Robberies
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A Detective's Story
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by Emerson Bennett
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“We are quite alone, sir, as you see.”

“But sometimes, I am told,” he continued hesitatingly, “these kinds of places—I beg your pardon!  I mean no offence to you—sometimes, I say, I am told, these places are contrived for secret listeners.”

“But I have assured you, sir,” I replied, rather coldly, “that we are alone here, and if you doubt my word, perhaps you had better carry your secret, whatever it is, away with you.”

“Well, well,” he rejoined, somewhat hastily, “never mind,—I will take your word—I will trust you. And I have good authority for doing so, too!” he added, partly soliloquizing and partly addressing me. “You see, Mr. Larkin. As there is to be confidence between us, it is more than fair to tell you that I have been to a magistrate, asking for a trusty and secret police agent, of superior cunning and intelligence, and that Mr. George Larkin was named as the individual on whom I could rely in every . . .

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    While sitting alone in my London office once one dull, dark, drizzly October afternoon, indulging in the luxury of a quiet smoke, the door opened in a timid, hesitating manner, and an old, wrinkled, gray-headed, gray-bearded man, poorly and shabbily dressed, shuffled in, and, throwing the glance of what was still a keen, restless, suspicious black eye over my person, said, in a subdued and what sounded like a humble tone, that he had called to see Mr. George Larkin.

“That is my name, sir,” returned I; “pray step forward and take a seat.”

The old man seemed to hesitate a moment, eyed me sharply, glanced warily about the apartment, and then observed, as he walked forward and sat down near me:

“I hope we are alone, Mr. Larkin, for my business concerns only our own two selves.”

   

 

 


 

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